Earlier this season, when UCLA was riding its high-powered offense to 19 wins in 20 games, Arizona coach Sean Miller marveled that the Bruins could win it all this season. Arizona has since beaten them twice in three games. And, in their 86-75 Pac-12 Tournament semifinal win over the Bruins, the Wildcats had virtually all of their weapons on full display just in time for a Pac-12 Tournament final against Oregon and a possible chance to gain a No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament's West region. Lauri Markkanen (7'0''-PF-97) led the Wildcats on Friday with 29 points and continued to find the 3-pointer that was noticeably absent last month, making 4 of 9 from long range, while Allonzo Trier (6'4''-F-96) had 20 points on a typical mix of drives to the basket, free throws and 3 of 4 3-pointers. Also working for UA: Kadeem Allen (6'3''-G) drives to the bucket, and some all-around aggressiveness from Rawle Alkins (6'6''-SG-97). Allen had nine points while Alkins had eight points and five rebounds. The win moved second-seeded Arizona to 29-4 and into the Pac-12 Tournament final Saturday at 8 p.m. UCLA dropped to 29-4 and will likely become the third priority out of the Pac-12 for the NCAA Tournament selection committee. A win over the Ducks might earn the Wildcats the best NCAA Tournament placement out of the Pac-12, most likely a No. 2 seed in the West Region. UA lost by 27 points on Feb. 4 in Eugene and, because of that loss, Arizona was rated behind Oregon in the NCAA selection committee's Feb. 11 early bracket reveal. The Ducks have not lost a game since then, but Saturday's game might give the Wildcats a chance to make up for it, and give them another opportunity against a Top 25 RPI team. As of now, UA has only two such wins, both of them over UCLA. Of course, beating the Ducks doesn't figure to be an easy accomplishment for Arizona. The Wildcats have lost three straight games to Oregon, including an 85-58 drubbing on Feb. 4 in Eugene, a loss in the Pac-12 Tournament semifinals last season and a homecourt loss in January 2016 that snapped UA's 49-game homecourt winning streak. UA is 1-3 in Pac-12 Tournament final games under coach Sean Miller , but beat Oregon in the 2015 Pac-12 Tournament final. Arizona's win also snapped UCLA's 10-game win streak and dropped the Bruins to 29-4, where they will likely now be the third highest-seeded team out of the Pac-12. After leading by six points at halftime, Arizona pushed it to 11 early in the second half while keeping the Bruins without a field goal for nearly four minutes. UCLA's shooting woes were typified by a missed 3-pointer in the right corner by Bryce Drew (6'3''-G-74, college: Valparaiso), his seventh miss without a single make. As a team UCLA had made just 2 of 17 3s through the first 27 minutes of the game. While Alford finally hit a 3 with 10:04 remaining, cutting UA's lead to 66-57, the Bruins trailed by double digits from there until Isaac Hamiton scored to make it 84-75. Arizona wound up holding UCLA to about 40 percent shooting from the field, while the Bruins made just 4 of 22 (18.2 percent) from 3-point range. Alford finished 1 for 9 from beyond the arc. In the first half, Arizona sank 7 of 13 3-pointers and held UCLA to just 2 of 12 3-pointers while taking a 41-35 halftime lead. Trier led UA in the half with 13 points while Markkanen had 12 points, with each of them making two 3-pointers. UA also held UCLA to 42.3 percent shooting overall from the field and just 2 of 12 from 3-point range. With UCLA trailing by just a point with 3:20 to go in the first half, Kadeem Allen twice went coast-to-coast for layups. He made the first and, when he missed the second, Markkanen trailed behind, picked up the miss and dunked it in for a 34-29 lead. The Wildcats used an 8-0 run to take a 27-20 lead into the final six minutes of the half, getting 3-pointers from Allen and Markkanen. However, Trier missed an open 3-pointer and Keanu Pinder (6'9''-F/G-95, college: Hutchinson CC) missed a pair of free throws that might have expanded UA's lead even further. After UCLA took early leads of up to six points while making five of its first six shots, Arizona held the Bruins scoreless for the next 5:28 and took a 14-13 lead when Trier hit a pair of free throws with 12:52 left in the half. Aaron Holiday finally broke the UCLA drought with a 3-pointer that gave the Bruins a 17-14 lead with 10:32 left, but the Bruins were never really the same after that point. As a result, UCLA will go home for rest before Selection Sunday while Arizona will be playing the team it tied with for first place in the regular season. Both Oregon and UA went 16-2 throughout the regular season and have each won two games in the tournament. There will be some separation between the Ducks and Wildcats on Saturday night. Courtesy of: tucson.com
USA Women All-Stars Top Canada In Opening Game of Tour - 2 days ago
Weng'an, China - Brittany Crain scored 16 points to lead the NetScouts Basketball USA All-Stars to a 64-53 win over Canada in front of 3,841 fans in Weng'an in the opening game of a nine-game China tour. Alisia Jenkins added 11 points and eight rebounds while point guard Simone DeCoud contributed seven assists and five steals against only one turnover. Kyanna Pingue-Giles led Canada with 19 points and 11 rebounds [read more]
Weng'an, China - Brittany Crain scored 16 points to lead the NetScouts Basketball USA All-Stars to a 64-53 win over Canada in front of 3,841 fans in Weng'an in the opening game of a nine-game China tour. Alisia Jenkins added 11 points and eight rebounds while point guard Simone DeCoud contributed seven assists and five steals against only one turnover. Kyanna Pingue-Giles led Canada with 19 points and 11 rebounds.
The USA All-Stars took an early 19-9 lead before the Canadians battled back to take a 26-25 lead just before halftime. Crain then hit a three-pointer to give the Americans a 28-26 lead into halftime. The Americans then outscored Canada 21-12 in the third quarter to help put the game out of reach. The USA extended the lead to 16 midway in the fourth quarter and then coasted to the win.
It was the first game the Americans played together and it showed. The USA All-Stars took 21 more shots than Canada but shot only 26-for-82 (31.7%) from the field. They did make nine three-pointers (9-of-27) with Crain drilling three and Kari Korver and Leslie Lopez-Wood two each. The Canadians had a +8 edge on the boards but that was mainly the result of the USA missing 15 more shots than Canada. The USA came up with 19 steals and forced Canada into 22 turnovers.
Rachel Mitchell was impressive defensively for the USA coming up with four early blocks and Kiara Kudron (7 rebounds) came up big in the second half with some strong rebounding. Crain also grabbed seven boards and was very active in her time on the court.
NetScouts Basketball USA All-Stars Head Coach Perry Huang "I thought this was a good effort for the first time we've played together. We didn't hit our shots but I thought we played good defense most of the time in the second half and started to rebound better. We'll look for improvement in tonight's game."
China was impressive in the opener as they destroyed Lithuania 89-46. Six Chinese players scored in double-figures and they out-rebounded Lithuania by 15. China faces Canada in the first game tonight while the USA faces Lithuania in the nightcap.
ORU hires Baylor assistant Paul Mills as the next Golden Eagle basketball coach - 2 days ago
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Oral Roberts University announced the hiring of Baylor assistant Paul Mills as the next Golden Eagle head basketball coach in a press release Thursday afternoon. After 18 seasons, 328 victories, five Summit League titles and three NCAA Tournament appearances, Scott Sutton was fired by ORU President Billy Wilson on April 10. From a list of about 50 coaches who expressed interest in the position, athletic director Mike Carter is believed to have interviewed five finalists: Mills, current Go... [read more]
Oral Roberts University announced the hiring of Baylor assistant Paul Mills as the next Golden Eagle head basketball coach in a press release Thursday afternoon. After 18 seasons, 328 victories, five Summit League titles and three NCAA Tournament appearances, Scott Sutton was fired by ORU President Billy Wilson on April 10. From a list of about 50 coaches who expressed interest in the position, athletic director Mike Carter is believed to have interviewed five finalists: Mills, current Golden Eagle interim coach Rodney Perry, Iowa State assistant Daniyal Robinson, Baylor assistant Jerome Tang and North Dakota State assistant Kyan Brown. Mills has been a member of Scott Drew's Baylor staff since 2003. Last month, the Drew-coached Baylor program made its seventh NCAA Tournament appearance. A Houston native, Mills played high school basketball at Houston MacArthur and signed to play at Southern Nazarene University in Bethany, but his college career was shortened by a back injury sustained during his freshman season. Mills then transferred to Texas A&M, from which he graduated in 1996 with a degree in finance. Before working at Baylor, Mills was a head coach at two Houston-area private high schools: North Belt Christian and Fort Bend Baptist Academy. According to the school's 2014 990 form, Sutton was being paid almost $435,000 per year. ORU is a private school and not obligated to release the details of its employee contracts, but it is believed that the university entered the search process with a preference of not paying a new coach more than $250,000 a year. A source said ORU may not go beyond three years on a contract. The NCAA Division I standard for head-coaching contracts is a five-year deal. Courtesy of: tulsaworld.com
Farokhmanesh headed to Drake as assistant coach - 2 days ago
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Nebraska basketball staffer Ali Farokhmanesh is headed back to the Missouri Valley Conference. Thursday reports of Nebraska's director of player relations and development heading to Drake became reality Friday, as the Huskers made Farokhmanesh's hiring as an assistant coach official with a news release. Farokhmanesh will be the third assistant on Niko Medved 's new staff at Drake, joining Dave Thorson and JR Blount. It will be the former Northern Iowa star's first on-the-court coaching jo... [read more]
Nebraska basketball staffer Ali Farokhmanesh is headed back to the Missouri Valley Conference. Thursday reports of Nebraska's director of player relations and development heading to Drake became reality Friday, as the Huskers made Farokhmanesh's hiring as an assistant coach official with a news release. Farokhmanesh will be the third assistant on Niko Medved 's new staff at Drake, joining Dave Thorson and JR Blount. It will be the former Northern Iowa star's first on-the-court coaching job. Medved, a former assistant to Tim Miles at Colorado State, was hired by Drake May 26 after a four-year stint at Furman. "It is with mixed emotions that I will be leaving the University of Nebraska to accept an assistant coaching position at Drake University,' Farokhmanesh said in a news release. "I want to thank Coach Miles for the incredible opportunity to be a part of Husker basketball. It has been an honor to work with Shawn Eichorst and Marc Boehm, who have allowed me to be a part of a very special university and athletic department. I will always be grateful for the experience of working with Coach Miles and his staff. Under their leadership and trust, I have grown as a person and as a coach. I have had a remarkable three years at Nebraska with some very special student-athletes, and I will cherish those relationships. This program will go on to do great things." Farokhmanesh recently completed his third season on the Husker staff, first joining the Huskers in 2014 as a graduate manager before being promoted to his latest role prior to the 2016-17 season. According to his bio, Farokhmanesh played a major role in creating and implementing a mentoring program, as well as coordinating community outreach with Nebraska's Life Skills staff. He also assisted with recruiting, including on-campus hosting duties. Farokhmanesh, of course, is a legend in The Valley and the state of Iowa after helping lead Northern Iowa to a 30-5 record and a spot in the Sweet 16 in 2010. His three-pointer against Kansas with 34 seconds to go that sealed the Panthers' 69-67 upset landed him on the cover of Sports Illustrated and cemented his place as a March Madness legend. Courtesy of: journalstar.com
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